Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Harnessing immune cells for immunoprotection in children with cardiovascular risk

Harnessing invariant Natural Killer T-cells for immunoprotection in children with cardiovascular risk.

Childhood survival of chronic disease steadily increased over the last decades. Unfortunately, survival often comes at the price of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease later in life. In order to improve early diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and enable the identification of risk factors, the CDC study was performed from 2016-2019: ‘Cardiovascular Disease in Children with Chronic Disease’. 

The CDC study results indicate that many children with chronic disease are indeed at risk for early cardiovascular disease. The LSH-TKI project enabled the development of novel cardiovascular magnetic imaging techniques to diagnose early atherosclerosis, and thus aortic pulse wave velocity and wall thickness measurements were successfully developed and validated as sensitive and robust measures of early atherosclerosis. Next to novel diagnostic techniques, the CDC study aimed at identification of the most important risk factors. While the identification of the most important risk factors is still ongoing, inflammation, high circulating lipid levels, and high blood pressure all appear to contribute to early atherosclerosis.  

In the near future, it is hoped to use the novel diagnostic techniques and identified risk factors to introduce a cardiovascular prevention program for children with chronic disease, aiming to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of children with chronic disease.